Dear Clients and Friends,
The report found here covers m&a trends, values and deals in the four sectors of Enterprise Data and Analytics that we follow, and sometimes lead. Please find our November Enterprise Data and Analytics Update here.
Stephen Hawking, the world renowned physicist, was recently quoted as being “quite concerned” that artificial intelligence could soon replace humans – completely. He called to mind some of the fears portrayed in the movie “Blade Runner” (one of my favorites). It’s a scary concept.
An article by McKinsey last year was a bit less apocalyptic – but it did list 800 occupations that are at risk from AI – ranging from assembly line work, retail service, diagnosticians, and truck drivers, to a wide range of professional functions including work by lawyers and by investment bankers(!). That frightens some people too.
We’re a bit more sanguine.
There is no question that, since the Industrial Revolution, jobs have been lost to ever more powerful tools designed to make functions more effective or efficient – there are very few blacksmiths left. And, there is little question that machine learning, Big Data, analytics, AI, etc. (all sectors that we follow) will spur even more of the same. Jobs will be lost. But in the aggregate – and over time – mankind clearly has benefited from new more powerful tools – with people (on average) becoming better educated, better fed, and, in the developed world, working a lot fewer hours each day than in the agrarian 1700s when people worked from sun-to-sun + some. Medical care has improved; life spans have been increasing.
We don’t know where it will end – and we hesitate to contradict Professor Hawking. But we believe that the core intellectual requirements of our jobs – providing unbiased expert advice to buyers and sellers – will never be replaced by machines – nor will machines replace the core elements of many other jobs that require combining intellect, intuition and creativity. There will be casualties; and we must accommodate them. But the long term trend is clear – and positive. Big Data, analytics, and AI will lead to a materially better life for many. We are at the beginning of a rapidly changing world and we’re not afraid. Bring it on…
As you will see, from our report found here, m&a values, volume and trends in all four sectors of the Enterprise Data and Analytics sector are quite strong. Some of the more interesting deals this past month include:
- Siris Capital Group (New York, NY) agreed to acquire Intralinks for $1.0bn,
- MessageBird (Amsterdam, Netherlands) raised $60mm in a Series A funding round led by Accel Partners,
- Ayla Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) raised $50mm in a Series D funding round led by SUNSEA Telecom,
- Feedzai (Centro, Portugal) raised $50mm in a Series C funding round led by Sapphire Ventures,
- Vista Equity Partners (Austin, TX) agreed to acquire Datto for an undisclosed sum,
- TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) acquired eBureau for an undisclosed sum.